DNA in a polyvinyl alcohol matrix and interactions with three intercalating cyanine dyes
Journal article, 2011
We investigate how DNA interacts with drugs in humid polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) films by using a homologous set of cyanine dyes (YO(+), YO-PRO(2+), and YOYO(4+)) known to intercalate into DNA with increasing affinity with increasing charge. UV-vis spectroscopy shows that the PVA matrix destabilizes all three DNA-dye complexes compared to aqueous solution but to a lesser degree as the dye charge increases. The monovalent YO is fully dissociated from DNA within minutes, whereas the dissociation of the divalent YO-PRO takes about one hour and occurs by a two-step mechanism. The tetravalent homodimer YOYO is even less affected by the PVA environment and remains intercalated in the B-form DNA also in the PVA films. The reduced stability of the DNA-dye complexes is discussed in terms of steric and dielectric properties of the PVA matrix. After being kept in dry PVA films for 48 h the DNA-YOYO complexes can be reformed reversibly by rehumidifying the films for 30 min. The ability to store aligned and confined DNA intercalated with ligand complexes may be useful in studies on structural properties of nucleic acids.